Privilege Escalation via GDB CAP_SYS_PTRACE

Identifies instances where GDB (granted the CAP_SYS_PTRACE capability) is executed, after which the user's access is elevated to UID/GID 0 (root). In Linux, the CAP_SYS_PTRACE capability grants a process the ability to use the ptrace system call, which is typically used for debugging and allows the process to trace and control other processes. Attackers may leverage this capability to hook and inject into a process that is running with root permissions in order to escalate their privileges to root.

Elastic rule (View on GitHub)

 1[metadata]
 2creation_date = "2024/01/09"
 3integration = ["endpoint"]
 4maturity = "production"
 5min_stack_comments = "Linux effective and permitted process capability data sources were added in version 8.11.0"
 6min_stack_version = "8.11.0"
 7updated_date = "2024/01/09"
 8
 9[rule]
10author = ["Elastic"]
11description = """
12Identifies instances where GDB (granted the CAP_SYS_PTRACE capability) is executed, after which the user's access is
13elevated to UID/GID 0 (root). In Linux, the CAP_SYS_PTRACE capability grants a process the ability to use the ptrace
14system call, which is typically used for debugging and allows the process to trace and control other processes.
15Attackers may leverage this capability to hook and inject into a process that is running with root permissions in order
16to escalate their privileges to root.
17"""
18from = "now-9m"
19index = ["logs-endpoint.events.*"]
20language = "eql"
21license = "Elastic License v2"
22name = "Privilege Escalation via GDB CAP_SYS_PTRACE"
23risk_score = 47
24rule_id = "c296f888-eac6-4543-8da5-b6abb0d3304f"
25setup = """
26
27This rule requires data coming in from Elastic Defend.
28
29### Elastic Defend Integration Setup
30Elastic Defend is integrated into the Elastic Agent using Fleet. Upon configuration, the integration allows the Elastic Agent to monitor events on your host and send data to the Elastic Security app.
31
32#### Prerequisite Requirements:
33- Fleet is required for Elastic Defend.
34- To configure Fleet Server refer to the [documentation](https://www.elastic.co/guide/en/fleet/current/fleet-server.html).
35
36#### The following steps should be executed in order to add the Elastic Defend integration on a Linux System:
37- Go to the Kibana home page and click "Add integrations".
38- In the query bar, search for "Elastic Defend" and select the integration to see more details about it.
39- Click "Add Elastic Defend".
40- Configure the integration name and optionally add a description.
41- Select the type of environment you want to protect, either "Traditional Endpoints" or "Cloud Workloads".
42- Select a configuration preset. Each preset comes with different default settings for Elastic Agent, you can further customize these later by configuring the Elastic Defend integration policy. [Helper guide](https://www.elastic.co/guide/en/security/current/configure-endpoint-integration-policy.html).
43- We suggest selecting "Complete EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response)" as a configuration setting, that provides "All events; all preventions"
44- Enter a name for the agent policy in "New agent policy name". If other agent policies already exist, you can click the "Existing hosts" tab and select an existing policy instead.
45For more details on Elastic Agent configuration settings, refer to the [helper guide](https://www.elastic.co/guide/en/fleet/8.10/agent-policy.html).
46- Click "Save and Continue".
47- To complete the integration, select "Add Elastic Agent to your hosts" and continue to the next section to install the Elastic Agent on your hosts.
48For more details on Elastic Defend refer to the [helper guide](https://www.elastic.co/guide/en/security/current/install-endpoint.html).
49
50"""
51severity = "medium"
52tags = [
53        "Domain: Endpoint",
54        "OS: Linux",
55        "Use Case: Threat Detection",
56        "Tactic: Privilege Escalation",
57        "Data Source: Elastic Defend"
58        ]
59type = "eql"
60query = '''
61sequence by host.id, process.entry_leader.entity_id with maxspan=1m
62  [process where host.os.type == "linux" and event.action == "exec" and event.type == "start" and process.name == "gdb" and
63   (process.thread.capabilities.effective : "CAP_SYS_PTRACE" or process.thread.capabilities.permitted : "CAP_SYS_PTRACE") and 
64   user.id != "0"]
65  [process where host.os.type == "linux" and event.action == "exec" and event.type == "start" and
66   process.name != null and user.id == "0"]
67'''
68
69[[rule.threat]]
70framework = "MITRE ATT&CK"
71
72[[rule.threat.technique]]
73id = "T1055"
74name = "Process Injection"
75reference = "https://attack.mitre.org/techniques/T1055/"
76
77[[rule.threat.technique.subtechnique]]
78id = "T1055.008"
79name = "Ptrace System Calls"
80reference = "https://attack.mitre.org/techniques/T1055/008/"
81
82[[rule.threat.technique]]
83id = "T1068"
84name = "Exploitation for Privilege Escalation"
85reference = "https://attack.mitre.org/techniques/T1068/"
86
87[rule.threat.tactic]
88id = "TA0004"
89name = "Privilege Escalation"
90reference = "https://attack.mitre.org/tactics/TA0004/"

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